Sweet & sour chicken

Sweet & sour chicken

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(36 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins - 20 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 4
This homemade sweet and sour sauce is so much better than a takeaway. Great with rice or noodles

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal522
  • fat33g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs31g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre2g
  • protein27g
  • salt2.9g
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  • 2-3 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts, (about 400g/14oz total weight)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    Soy sauce

    Soy sauce

    soy sor-s

    An Asian condiment and ingredient that comes in a variety of of varieties ranging from light to…

  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • groundnut or sunflower oil, for deep frying, plus extra for stir-frying
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    A variety of oils can be used for baking. Sunflower is the one we use most often at Good Food as…

  • tempura batter (see below)
  • 1 small red pepper, cored, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced thinly on the diagonal



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 fat garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh root ginger

For the sauce

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
    Soy sauce

    Soy sauce

    soy sor-s

    An Asian condiment and ingredient that comes in a variety of of varieties ranging from light to…

  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sherry
  • 1 tbsp light soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour


  1. Cut the chicken into small chunks and mix with the soy sauce and sesame oil. In a jug or bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients with 100ml cold water. Line a large plate with kitchen paper.

  2. Heat the groundnut oil in a deep-fat fryer to about 180C. Then dip a few chunks of chicken at a time into the batter, then place in the hot oil using tongs or a slotted spoon, but don’t crowd the pan. Fry until crisp and golden – about 2 mins. You may need to do this in batches, so reheat the oil each time. As the chunks cook, lift out with tongs/spoon to the paper-lined plate to drain.

  3. Heat a wok to hot, add about 3 tbsp oil and stir-fry the vegetables with the garlic and ginger for about 3 mins. Give the sauce a quick final stir and pour into the wok, mixing as it cooks to a light glossy sauce. Bubble for 1 min, then spoon over the chicken and serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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9th Oct, 2011
This is a really great recipe. I chilled the water on ice for about 20 minutes before whisking the batter and it stuck to the chicken perfectly. I didn't have the vinegar or sherry but still the sauce worked okay, I'd like to try it next time with all the ingredients. I didn't have the sesame oil either, but sauteed some sesame seeds in vegetable oil as a substitute.
23rd Aug, 2011
So much better than the takeaway version, it has the same familiar flavour but is fresher and lighter. I didnt fry my chicken and it was still very good.
18th Jun, 2011
Really enjoyed this. I used quorn pieces instead of chicken as we are vegetarian. I did not make a batter just stir fried the quorn after letting it sit in the soy and oil for a couple of hours. I also added a stick of celery and a few chestnut mushrooms. I used garlic and ginger oil for the stir fry. The sauce was really good a good balance between sweet and sour. I served with chilli noodles which gave a slight kick.
suedebloke's picture
5th May, 2011
Lovely recipe and the batter and sauuce was lovely. Agree with above battter is too thin so added a touch more flour and could have done with double the sauce so will increase it next time. Used leftover pork from a roast and was delicious!
14th Apr, 2011
Sauce was very thin. Batter didn't stick, probably needs less water.
5th Feb, 2011
Great recipe,but didn't think tempura batter worked well for me.Followed the recipe,but batter was too thin.Think it should've been 150ml instead 200ml.But actual sauce was 10 out of 10!!Recommend!
29th Jan, 2011
18th May, 2010
Tried this one over the weekend. Didn't realise until after buying the ingredients, that a deep-fat frier was needed, which I don't have! Had to improvise a little using Jon Torode's recipe also on this website, but we were thrilled with the results. It was my first venture into frying in this manner, but once I got the temperature just right, the results were beautiful! The sauce is delicious too. Definitely give this one a try!
17th Nov, 2009
Great recipe only added 1 thing as sauce looked a little brown so added 1 table spoon of tomato sauce was terific taste served with my special fried rice (rice, egg,prawns, ham, pineapple ) excellent !
5th Nov, 2009
This is a wonderful recipie. Really tasty. The batter was so good. I have made it twice now and it is now has its own spot in my recipie binder. Please try it for yourself.


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